I know this to be true: We continue to learn life lessons until the day that we transition from this life. The women in my family are long-lived, which means that I have a lot of learning still ahead of me. Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” My life lessons won’t be complete until the day I transition, and that looks to be a long time away. And yet, while I’m not a completed work yet, while my lessons are not yet done, I can give myself permission to view myself in a non-judgmental way. I know that I can have compassion and appreciation for the work that I have done so far, and for the work I am going to be doing. I can view those opportunities as growth opportunities while accepting myself without judgment.
I also know this to be true: Our children and grandchildren observe the manner in which we live our lives, and they will likely mirror some of those same characteristics. If we are willing to learn the lessons that come our way, then their observations are positive and fruitful. We can pass along the wisdom that we gain and place a platform under our children and grandchildren for their success. If, however, we are unwilling to learn those lessons, then by those same observations they may inherit our patterns and predispositions, leading them to make the same mistakes or to learn lessons that were intended for a previous generation.
If we are judging the way that someone is living their life (including ourselves)—whether they are children or adults, friends or family members—it is important to know that our judgment comes from fear. There is a reason that the scripture says, “Judge ye not, lest ye be judged. In the same manner you judge, you will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). That’s the true reason we don’t want to judge. We want to approach any situation from a standpoint of truth, trust, clarity, and love—accepting someone exactly the way they are without question, without reservation, and without judgment. So instead of approaching that person (even ourselves) with an attitude of fear, come to them with truth, trust, clarity, and love.
Clarity allows us to recognize the truth when we see it.
Truth makes us free.
When we walk in trust, it is impossible to walk in fear.
When we love without question, without reservation, and without judgment (while also setting healthy boundaries), we love with an Agape kind of love.
Love yourself enough
If you are in the midst of great personal growth and change, love yourself enough to understand that we are always evolving and growing in God’s eyes and that we will never be finished with the work set before us until the day we see Him face to face. Love yourself with this God-kind of love and know that as you set to do what is in front of you today, it is ok to do the best you know how to do given the time and resources with which you have to do it. It will never be perfect in our own eyes. But God is not asking for perfection, just participation.